I think this tweet sums up my story best.
— Aviva Dunsiger (@avivaloca) August 30, 2017
As a creature of habit, yesterday morning, I arrived at school at 7:00 to set-up the classroom. I was thinking about everything I wanted to get accomplished during the day, and so, as I walked to the door, I didn’t check to see if the caretaker’s car was in the lot. I used my access pass as I always do, and I entered the school.
That’s when I heard a little “beep, beep, beep,” coming from the alarm panel near the door. I then looked down both hallways and realized it was dark inside the school. My mind kicked into overdrive: hmmm … did I see our caretaker’s car? Is somebody else here? Just as I’m asking myself these questions, I hear, “Eee — ooo — eee — ooo!” Imagine the loudest sound you can possibly think of on repeat. Oh no! How is it even possible that I did this again?!
This is when I messaged my teaching partner, and asked if she could text the principal letting him know what happened. I also emailed him, so that he realized that I was the source of the alarm. As if … #OnlyAviva. 🙂 Then I stood in the hallway outside of our classroom door, listened to the very loud sound, prayed that I wouldn’t be explaining my great big oops to the police, and laughed. Like really, really laughed! I guess that I would have another “amusing Aviva story” to share. As Kristi Keery-Bishop, a previous vice principal of mine, pointed out on my last alarm blog post, the only thing more amusing that my parking tweets are my alarm posts.
I share all of this here because I can’t help but think of our Board‘s focus on “mental health and well-being.” During a recent meeting with principals and vice principals, leaders tweeted out different things that they do for their well-being. This is when I thought about the benefits of laughter. We all have stressful situations in our lives. We can worry. We can get scared. We can get upset. Or we can find a reason to laugh. I’m not going to say that I always remember to laugh — or that it’s always an appropriate option — but a good hearty chuckle yesterday morning made me feel a whole lot better. When my principal, John, asked me today if “my morning was a lot less alarming,” I couldn’t help but share a laugh with him again.
So this year, as life becomes stressful, I’m committed to finding those opportunities to laugh — with my family, my colleagues, my teaching partner, our parents, our students, and my friends — because life is better with a good giggle! And with some luck, I won’t be setting off any more school alarms. 🙂 How does laughter help you? School begins on September 5th, and I don’t know about you, but I want to start off my year with a big smile and no alarms! 🙂